ART, Attractions, DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, Museums, Road Trips, TRAVEL

Downtown Dallas & The Crow

Brochure from the Crow
Brochure from the Crow


If you haven’t been Downtown lately, then you haven’t really been to Dallas.  We’re just not the same place we once were – and in some ways,  that’s a good thing.

The Dallas Arts District

It’s been three decades since I first heard someone talk about a Dallas Arts District and at the time, it sounded like wishful thinking – but never underestimate a bunch of Texans.  Slowly but surely, we’ve built something very special down there.

The cornerstone was the Dallas Museum of Art.  Then venues like the Meyerson Symphony Center, the Winspear Opera House and many others came along.  The Crescent and the Ritz-Carlton aren’t far away.    Even the DISD Arts Magnet School is down there.  Now, there’s Klyde Warren Park and the new Museum Tower. In the meantime, exciting developments have popped up, fell into disuse and been redeveloped.  We’ve gotten lost from time to time, but we’ve never forgotten where we’re going.

The Crow Collection

Dallas’s Arts District is bright shiny and new in a lot of ways, but there are smaller, quieter places that also deserve your attention.  Take for instance The Trammel and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art.  It’s been a part of the growing Arts District for over fifteen years, yet I’d bet a lot of Dallasites don’t even know it’s there.  Here’s some reasons you should visit.

First, you need to know that it’s free.  Not just from time to time or on special days.  It’s just free – everyday all day long. The Trammel Crow Building is one of the major skyscrapers in Downtown Dallas and in one of the spaces of the building, the Crow family gave us access to this wonderful collection of art out of the goodness of their hearts.  That’s just one of the reasons I’m a big fan of that nasty old one percent that’s been kicked around so much lately.  So many of the things I love are made available to me out of the generosity of some one-percenter’s heart.

The next thing you should know is that it’s relatively small.  Taking in the DMA or Nasher is going to take up most of the day, if you want to see it properly.  But in comparison, the Crow Collection is bite-sized.  Yes, there are three floors, but the footprint of each floor is small and the displays embrace the minimalism of the Far East, where Less is considered More.  At the Crow, your brain doesn’t get that same stuffed feeling your stomach gets on Thanksgiving.

The museum is also very quiet. Most museums and libraries are quieter than, say, the mall, but there seems to be an extra aura of peaceful serenity at the Crow.  You won’t feel hurried or overwhelmed.  You’ll just stroll through and see marvelous things.  And marvelous they are.  On my most recent visit, I saw a series of golden statues with a fantastic number of limbs in some fairly amazing postures.  The labels said they were in the “Mother/Father pose,” but Bill said if the statues were of parents with their children, someone should call Child Protective Services.  I’ll let you be the judge of that.  The items exhibited change with a good bit of frequency, so if you want to see the Mother/Father poses, you better hurry.

Before you leave the Crow, pop into the lovely little Lotus Shop.  Unique items in a variety of price points are available to remind of you of your visit. Then you might want to take a stroll through Klyde Warren Park before the new wears off.

Architecture, ART, Attractions, DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, Gardens, Museums, Performing Arts, Road Trips, TRAVEL

The New Klyde Warren Park

Klyde Warren Park, Dallas Arts District, Dallas TX
Klyde Warren Park in Downtown Dallas


OK! I’ll admit it. Chicago is pretty cool. Not only are they right there on Lake Michigan, they’ve got that whole Museum District thing going on. I wouldn’t be so bold to ask the Chicago question, but I couldn’t help overhearing someone ask it a week or so ago, at the opening of the new Klyde Warren Park right here in my Dallas.

Celebrating a Special Day

To celebrate a friend’s birthday, Dallas donned her best weather.

Klyde Warren Park, Dallas Arts District, Dallas TX
Beauty Blooms Above while vehicles travel beneath the park

When my dear friend and her son picked me up, our first destination was Toulouse, our favorite brunch spot, but we had a lot on the agenda.  After glasses of champagne and Crab Florentine, we were on our way downtown.  Since it was opening day for the new park (which abuts my beloved Dallas Museum of Art) we parked for free (membership has its privileges) in the DMA underground parking and visited the festivities at Klyde Warren.

Klyde Warren Park, Dallas Arts District, Dallas TX
The Kid Section

Like a cat traveling in a car, I barely knew which way to look,

Klyde Warren Park, Dallas Arts District, Dallas TX
The Dog Section

but one of the first things I noticed was that a lot of dogs had brought their owners to check out the park.  Then I noticed a lot of kids had done the same thing.

Once loosed into their separate portions of the park, the reactions of the dogs and the kids was somewhat similar, “All this for me?”  Both two-legged and four-legged sorts were running about frenetically trying to grasp the magnitude of their domains.

Klyde Warren Park, Dallas Arts District, Dallas TX
Squishy Stuff

But the park is not only for dogs and kids.  And you’re not supposed to just look at the park or jog through it.  Developers claim it will be an urban space with yoga, board games, movie screenings, book signings and whatnot, everyday.  I hope they’re right.  Dallas could use that, especially in the downtown area.

For the Grand Opening they certainly had things hopping.  Though the promised restaurant is still a year away, there were rows and rows of food trucks.  Folks were playing chess, checkers and mah jongg.  A stage and seating were set up with a schedule of performers.  But the big excitement was really over in the kid section.

We all have a little kid somewhere inside.  On some level we all respond to leaping fountains, jungle gyms and treehouses, but what I loved about the kids section was the squishy stuff beneath your feet.  I had on high heeled boots and it was a great break from walking on concrete.  And don’t worry about walking on the grass – it’s fake, so have at it!

But the park was just one stop during a busy day, so after taking it’s measure we moved on to the museum to see the Posters of Paris Exhibit.  Not to worry.  I’ll tell you about that later.  For now, enjoy a few more shots of the park.  (I know these pictures aren’t as good as the ones Bill takes, but he didn’t come with.)